The Indian and Spanish Hockey teams played their final practice match in Madrid earlier today, with Spain coming out on top with a scoreline of 3-2. The match was slow on both sides as none of the teams were getting close to penetrating the opposition final third which managed to keep it all neutral at the end of the first quarter. This match marked the end of Hockey India’s preparatory campaign for Rio 2016.
The Indian Hockey Team had already witnessed a disappointing start to its final preparatory campaign, having lost to Spain once already in their first practice gaming, by an even more appalling scoreline of 4-1.
Rupinder Pal Singh (21st minute) had scored India’s lone goal in that fixture. For Spain, Xavi Lleonart (10th, 31st) and Pau Quemada (30th, 42nd) scored two goals each. Spain had started quickly off the blocks and opened the scoring in the 10th minute through Lleonart.
Although practice games and their scorelines have no effect on the Olympics per se, they can, however, still have dire consequences by affecting the confidence of the losing team. An aggregate loss of 7 goals to 3 could not have helped the confidence levels of the Indian squad members at all, and a monumental task lies in front of the Indian coach now- of making his players believe in themselves again.